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Definitely some bright spots, and especially a lot of the acoustic set is killer. Generally kind of blah though I think. Hard to tell with these SBDs, 'cause I really listen for instruments & the vocals are so much louder.
Subject: Great early '70 show!
This hidden gem has in the past been overlooked due to poor sound quality and ambiguous date, after the killer month of Febuary and before the better know shows later in the Spring. With this new source and transfer, the full glory of this concert can be brought to light. The sound is WAY cleaned up from its previous 2/5 sound quality. The tape hiss is brought down and the instruments are more separated. Sounds pretty decent through head phones! The sound quality is the only thing keeping me from giving this show 5 stars and I only do that for people who might be more picky, I feel this show sounds great for the era! Now onto the show...
This is a great example of the band's early 1970 material. It's missing the intro but it picks up at a strong first set. Hard to Handle is good, but not one of the best I've heard. They hit the acoustic guitars with one of my favorites, Deep Elem Blues played flawlessly. Friend of the Devil has some alternate lyrics which make this an intersting listen. Don't Ease Me In leaves you feeling good but the band sharply changes the mood with a very serious and perfect Black Peter that is only marred by a cut in the tape. Phil Lesh is singing loud and on key tonight. I always loved his high harmonies but sadly they get burried in the mix more often than not. UJB is good, Pig does a sweet Katie Mae, and the band finishes an impressive acoustic set! The third set starts with an average Good Lovin' that Bobby sharply takes into Not Fade Away after the first verse. It's after the Lovin' sandwich you are in for the treat of this show...Viola Lee Blues. I am personally a fan of the '66 versions of this song because I feel the other sixties versions get too over blown with lots of feedback distortion and repetitive jamming. This version is filled with raunchy, bluesy soloing that will stand the hair up on the back of your neck. The sound just puts you on edge! Definatly one of the best versions of this song out there, you have to check it out! A delicate High Time leads into a fantastic version of Lovelight. The jamming keeps you interested and the Pigpen rap here is priceless! He once again takes his stand against "Pocket Pool" and encourages us to find a good lay, but in this version, he reminds us to "get inside her pocket book and make sure she's 18"!!! HILARIOUS! I often wonder if the audience really followed his suggestions and randomly banged the girl/guy in the seat next to them? I'm suprised the Dead didn't get more crap about "public decency" like the Doors did? So anyways the rap is GREAT. All and all this isn't one of the Dead's greatest shows but above average to be sure! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!
Subject: Pig Pen Commentary Rocks
Man - I got a hissed out bootleg tape of this when I was in 7th grade! I listened to this over and over and over - I memorized all of the smack that Pig Pen ripped during Lovelight.....that alone is worth giving this one a listen.......but in general to me this is classic Dead 1970....what got me hooked!
PADJ - BTW this sbd sounds awesome without all the tape hiss from my ole maxell XL 90.